New exhibition at Museum nan Eilean – Collections Revealed

Question: What do ‘Tweedos’, Roman pottery fragments, Iron Age tools and 1930s period china have in common?
Answer: All feature in the latest special exhibition at Museum nan Eilean Lews Castle!

Collections Revealed - the forthcoming special exhibition at Museum & Tasglann nan Eilean – features some of the artefacts and archives which have been acquired or donated in recent years, and some of those catalogued during lockdown, the majority of which have never been displayed before.

Plate from dinner service used at social occasions hosted by Lady Portarlington at Lews Castle, 1930s © Museum nan Eilean

The 32 photographs selected as winners in a recent photography competition, held as part of the Scotland’s Photograph Album exhibition programme, form one section of the exhibition. Entries were judged on the themes of People, Landscape, Architecture, and Community and judges were looking for originality, creativity, impact, composition and technical ability. These stunning pictures highlight the depth of local talent and will now become part of the Museum’s permanent collection.

Other items on display include artefacts recently catalogued as part of the Archaeology Awakened project from the sites of Loch na Beirgh and Dun Bharabhat, Lewis, and Dunan Ruadh, Pabbay, Barra; the Jo Macdonald wedding collection - a valuable addition to the Museum’s textile collections; the Colin Macleod collection - associated with the swimmer’s remarkable achievements, and a number of art works by Will Maclean and Arthur Watson.

Archives on display include examples of Burgh Notices, used to communicate important messages in the days before mass media, and a letter book of Lodge Fortrose illustrating the many and varied activities happening in Stornoway in the 1870s and 80s. There is also a projection of Gus Wylie photographs from across the islands which have been recently digitised.

Caitriona MacCuish, Museums Development Officer said:

‘Like all museums and archives, we are only able to display a small percentage of our collection at any one time.  The majority of the collection is kept at our stores in Stornoway and Benbecula, and used for research, temporary exhibitions and online display.  We are therefore really pleased to have this opportunity to showcase some of the interesting and varied items recently donated to our collections.’

The exhibition is on at Museum nan Eilean Lews Castle from Saturday 19th November 2022 until Saturday 7th January 2023.  (Please note that the Museum is closed 25/12/22-3/1/23).

Come along and prepare to be intrigued!